The Sophisticated Marketer's Guide to LinkedIn
Global Technology Leader Sees Results
from Unifying its Approach to LinkedIn
With solutions for society that stretch from the seafloor to outer space, NEC Corporation uses technology as an enabler to create social value for people and businesses around the world. The Tokyo-headquartered global enterprise’s vision is to ‘orchestrate a brighter world’ that is safe, secure, efficient and equal — and sharing this message with the right audience is paramount to its global strategy. According to Kensuke Takagi, International Advertising Group Expert in NEC’s Customer Relationship Management Division, the company is enjoying more precise lead generation in overseas markets now that it has incorporated digital marketing into its traditional marketing mix of advertising, direct marketing and client events. Takagi explains: “As NEC’s business interests are wide ranging, it is difficult to communicate the details of our work through conventional methods like mass advertising alone. We found that other approaches, like email marketing, are also limited in their effectiveness. So what we chose to do is to develop a programme that more aggressively leverages digital marketing platforms — including social media — to strengthen our engagement with our global target audience.”
The Dealmaker: Precise B2B Targeting Capabilities
LinkedIn is NEC’s top choice when it comes to B2B social media platforms and Takagi says this is because LinkedIn allows accurate targeting based on the rich profi le data of its large community of members. “Segmentation (or the ability to determine who sees what content) is an exceptionally powerful advantage that LinkedIn offers. It allows us to easily narrow down our target audience based on our objectives and content. LinkedIn is also excellent for targeting by country, region or industry, which is particularly beneficial for us, given our diverse business interests.” NEC is clearly no stranger to LinkedIn — after all, its corporate headquarters, country offices and local subsidiaries had been leveraging the platform to connect with B2B professionals. But its use was sporadic and fragmented until October 2014, when NEC decided to unify the way it communicated with the world. A group-wide information transmission policy was introduced with LinkedIn as the preferred B2B communications platform. Along with this came clear communication guidelines and an operational infrastructure for the creation and sharing of content. With this unified and structured approach to content marketing, NEC began gaining more traction on LinkedIn. Gradually, more people across its various target segments began to take notice. The company has since gained over 53,000 followers. NEC is also active on another social media platform, but for other reasons. “With this other channel, we cannot assume that we are speaking to a B2B audience, so we find it more suitable for ‘completed’ content such as press releases. LinkedIn has an edge when it comes to content where a business-oriented response is needed,” said Takagi.
From Awareness to Acquisition: Marketing-Qualified Leads
“Having successfully implemented LinkedIn on a global basis, we are now in the exciting phase of acquiring customers and contributing to sales. Our focus, moving forward, is to identify and nurture potential leads from our 53,000 followers with the view of converting them into customers,” shared Yukio Katou, who is part of the International Advertising Group in NEC’s Customer Relationship Management Division. To this end, NEC has been actively sharing diverse content on LinkedIn — from case studies and thought leadership pieces to event insights and press releases. These are intended to help raise awareness, build interest and deepen public understanding about the work that it does.
“For us, LinkedIn is a platform to drive marketing-qualified leads — to sieve out promising customers from a massive online audience,” added Katou. Unlike conventional marketing channels that are limited by distribution and reach, NEC appreciates how, with LinkedIn, it is able to catch and hold people’s interest by sharing and building on content. In doing so, it has formulated an effective content lifecycle for owned media that goes beyond simply pushing out information. But in order to make the leap from sharing content to guiding behaviour, a large follower base is essential. For NEC, the goal is 100,000 and, to get there, the company is making full use of paid content opportunities on LinkedIn. It currently uses Sponsored Content to display native ads on the feeds of target followers and Sponsored InMail to send personalised messages directly to prospects. “With Sponsored Content and Sponsored InMail, we can reliably reach more people,” said Katou, who is pleased with the tangible results they are getting. With LinkedIn’s accurate targeting capabilities, NEC now has a new avenue to identify potential customers while fulfilling its baseline objective of building its corporate brand.
When Content Contributes to a Brighter World
For NEC, content marketing is a journey that will continue into the future. Takagi looks forward to a content-rich tomorrow filled with new and exciting ideas that serve to stimulate the mind. By piquing the interest of followers and analysing their reactions, he is ready to mine more meaningful business connections on LinkedIn. “Our guiding principle at NEC is to provide solutions for society. While Customer Relationship Management is often associated with sales figures and revenue targets, we prefer to focus on how we can contribute to society and create new social value that can lead to a brighter world for all.” NEC is committed to delivering content that makes a difference in people’s lives and LinkedIn looks set to continue playing an important role in enabling this.
Brand enhancement in overseas markets through social media
Effective messaging through precise customer segmentation
Collection of needs and discovery of potential customers in the global marketplace
Sponsored InMail Why Use LinkedIn?
Optimal tool for B2B messaging and engagement with purpose
Precise targeting based on the rich profi le data of the world’s largest global community of professionals
Effective Sponsored Content that can be customised to resonate with target audience
Acquisition of more than 53,000 followers
Formulation of an effective content lifecycle for owned media
Generation of marketing-qualifi ed leads with high possibility of conversion
NEC Corporation is a leader in the integration of IT and network technologies that benefit businesses and people around the world. By providing a combination of products and solutions that cross utilize the company's experience and global resources, NEC's advanced technologies meet the complex and ever-changing needs of its customers. NEC brings more than 100 years of expertise in technological innovation to empower people, businesses and society.
“LinkedIn allows us to easily narrow down our target audience based on our objectives and content. It is also excellent for targeting by country, region or industry, which is particularly benefi cial for us, given our diverse business interests.”
“LinkedIn is a very effective platform for us to generate marketing-qualified leads while raising awareness and deepening understanding of NEC.”